[IEEE Xplore] Readings on Smart Cities -- [Editorial] Vol. 1, Issue 11, December 2015

Smart Education

By Rosaldo J. F. Rossetti

In its endeavour to promote the growth and value of human-beings, in particular, and the society, in general, the concept of “Smart Cities” is definitively built upon the grounds of education. Although the learning process has benefited considerably, at all levels, from novel and more efficient ICT-based education, the challenges are still enormous as cities and societies face different and diverse realities. We devote this issue of our Readings on Smart Cities to very briefly touch the subject and start a discussion on Smart Education, which can initially be seen from two perspectives. On the one hand, as in all dimensions in Smart Cities, one intends to implement and foster smarter education, enabling a learning infrastructure that is flexible, interconnected, and productive. On the other hand, it is also necessary to draw people’s attention to this new world of Smart Cities, making them aware of the concepts, underlying technologies, and understand their very role in the smartification process.

We start with the work by Kobayashi [1], who considers smart education to encompass the utilisation of mobile devices, such as tablet computers. Kobayashi proposes an MSaaS-type (Mobile Software-as-a-Service) smart education support system, which allows a teaching staff to apply the original digital learning material and the ICT environment, including mobile devices, in classrooms without considerable disruption to the teacher’s work. A pilot experiment was implemented, which used the proposed architecture to explain technical terms, extracted automatically from news articles posted on social media and networks, such as DBpedia, YouTube, Twitter, and books or products on Amazon. Wolff, Kortuem, and Cavero [2] consider that new skills for working with the big urban datasets that drive innovation and sustainability in smart cities must be taught to upcoming generations to ensure that they become active smart city citizens. Their work is motivated by the question “how can data skills be taught using a more unified and practical approach, which facilitates application of skills in genuine, smart city contexts?” The proposed approach uses urban data games to set up a context for learning, and demonstrating, practical application of skills as learners must handle large complex datasets. Finally, in the paper by Malek, Laroussi, and Ben Ghezala [3], authors propose a design framework for Smart City Learning scenarios. Their approach allows pedagogical designers and teachers a number of tasks, such as “to specify, model, generate and simulate different types of context-aware and adaptive learning activities, to design indoor and outdoor spaces within smart cities to enable pupils or students to learn through factual cases and to experiment various learning scenarios, and to model and simulate interactions and co-adaptiveness rules between the learner, the contextualised activity and the space.”

Another important facet of education in smart cities is the Smart City Education itself. It is imperative and urgent that academic curricula, at both undergrad and postgrad levels, be adapted to include a wide range of multi- and cross-disciplinary fields and knowledge areas to breed and grow a new class of skilled professionals and practitioners, who will design, implement, and manage the cities of the future.

Good readings!


IEEE Xplore References

  1. T. Kobayashi, "MSaaS-Type Smart Education Support System Using Social Media," Mobile Cloud Computing, Services, and Engineering (MobileCloud), 2015 3rd IEEE International Conference on, San Francisco, CA, 2015, pp. 119-127.
  2. A. Wolff, G. Kortuem and J. Cavero, "Towards smart city education," Sustainable Internet and ICT for Sustainability (SustainIT), 2015, Madrid, 2015, pp. 1-3.
  3. J. Malek, M. Laroussi and H. Ben Ghezala, "A Design Framework for Smart City Learning Scenarios," Intelligent Environments (IE), 2013 9th International Conference on, Athens, 2013, pp. 9-15.


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